Trade Mark Law - The Cancellation Division rejects Looplabb's application for a declaration of the invalidity of the shape mark filed by Izipizi. The EUIPO considers that the criteria for assessing distinctiveness are the same for the various categories of marks. However, the relevant public's perception of different marks is not necessarily the same. It could thus prove to be more difficult for a shape mark to establish distinctive character. Any element that is distinctive on its own will lend the shape mark distinctive character. The element must be perceivable in the normal use of the product and must be sufficient to render the mark registrable. In regard to the present case, the EUIPO considers that the term 'IZIPIZI' is dinstinctive because it has no meaning in any language of the European Union. The 'IZIPIZI' elements cannot be overlooked, because they are written in bold and are indicated on three sides of the packaging. The words are present in all views of the case and that indicates that the applicant considered this element as part of the scope of the protection of the trade mark. The term will be noticed by the consumers and has an impact on the overall impression of the mark.
When faced with a product, the consumer will look for a verbal or graphic sign of the commercial origin of the product. The standard shape of a product can be registered as a shape trade mark if a distinctive word mark appears on it. That is the case here. In that instance, it is not necessary to determine whether the shape itself is distinctive.
Read the full decision here.